This article was last updated on December 2
[2021 update] Congress is back in session after a tough election cycle which enlarged the already wide chasm between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to agreeing on a new Coronavirus / COVID stimulus package. At this stage the main hope is that the lame-duck Congress (until January 2020) can approve an interim stimulus package ahead of a more comprehensive one during the Biden administration era.
As the pandemic and COVID outbreaks spread across the country there is increase pressure on lawmakers to pass some form of Stimulus relief package before the end of 2020. While there have been a few proposals (e.g. HEROEs act) that have passed one chamber of Congress, bipartisan support has been non-existent. However House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have recently backed a $908 billion bipartisan stimulus plan that was put forward by a group of Senators. However, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer have not indicated support for this, but have signaled they could include some aid provisions in a spending bill Congress needs to pass by Dec. 11 to keep the government funded.
While no deal has been reached, the main issues are still PPP funding for small business, unemployment benefits extensions and a new stimulus check. It is likely that an interim stimulus will have less (or smaller amounts) on offer but given the economic outfall from the Coronavirus is still ravaging large parts of the country it is essential that Congress acts sooner rather than later in this dark winter.
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[Latest Update] Lawmakers have passed legislation – known as the CARES act – that will provide stimulus payments of $1,200 per adult or $2400 for couples. For families they would provide $500 for every dependent child. The full stimulus payment would be made to those earning less than $75,000 ($150,000 for couples) and would phase out to zero for those earning less than $99,000 ($189,000 for married couples filing jointly). SSI and Disability recipients are also eligible for this payment. Families with no earned income or no federal income tax liability would still be eligible for a minimum payment of $600.
[2020 update] With the economic fallout from the Coronavirus continuing to affect millions of Americans directly or indirectly, President Trump is pushing congress to approve immediate cash payments and tax credits. This is part of the overall economic stimulus package under consideration and is aimed at providing an immediate financial boost to those Americans who may have lost a job or at high risk of losing it.
Cash payments could range from $800-$2000 based on several different options, with the most likely a $1,000 cash payment followed by tax credits in 2020 and 2021 tax returns. These stimulus payments would be done via direct payments (2 weeks from when the bill is approved) with likely no repayment obligation. Rules will be attached to ensure that these payments only go to those who need it but this is a fast moving situation and official details are still to come. See this article for further updates.
I will continue to provide updates on economic stimulus payments and I encourage you to subscribe (free) Email via or RSS to get the latest news.
[Obama Stimulus Update] Is a 2012 jobs and stimulus package on the cards? As discussed in this article, President Obama has indicated that his new economic recovery plan will be released soon; which will aim to provide benefits for a number of groups struggling under tough economic conditions.
No New Taxes with Tax Extensions Approved. President Obama has now signed into law a bill that covers a temporary extension of all the bush-era tax cuts. The new bill also contains extensions to some of the 2008 stimulus tax breaks, and even has some new tax cuts. You can see more on these extensions here. With this legislation he has essentially created a new 2011 Economic Stimulus package, estimated at around $858 billion.
Further, there will be no $250 SSI payment in 2010. See this article for the latest developments on this payment into 2011.
[Updated for 2010-2011 payments] All the tax credits/deductions and payments provided in the massive 2009 economic stimulus package will no doubt be hard to top in the years ahead. However the good news is that there will be more credits and deductions available to most Americans in 2010, 2011 and beyond. These will continue to be funded from the $700 billion stimulus package, with additional funds coming from President Obama’s ten year annual budget. From previous posts on the stimulus tax credits and the over 400 comments, folks are clearly divided on the payment of these credits with many complaining that these payments and tax breaks are just more wasteful government spending with little real impact. However, for many Americans, young and old, these payments are a big and much needed boon in tough economic times.